Saturday, 13 October 2007

Stop Motion & CGI in Romanian ING TV Ad

In the animation world, we've just finished a 30 sec stop-motion / CGI commercial for ING, the international banking and insurance conglomerate, for use on Romanian TV.

With just three weeks to turn it around, we had a twelve strong team headed by Mike Mort (Gogs) working flat out to bring it in on time. The entire commercial was shot on digital SLR cameras at ~4k resolution, downsized to 2k for workflow, with most cgi elements rendered at one or two times SD TV resolution, and final delivery was to be standard definition 4:3 PAL.

All of our studio space was utilised with two working setups alongside each other, and a third being made ready for when one of the others finished. Two disk recorders were used to allow the animators to step forward and backward, to ensure their animation was working correctly. Then the frames were brought in on CF cards in RAW format, converted, and the compositing process began. Having the compositor on hand at all times to check camera angles with test frames, and to see whether or not a composite will work before any frames are shot, removes a lot of guesswork from the whole process. The camera guys and animators were very impressed to be able to walk in and say "Can you quickly check if this will work?". It's not often that post-production processes can be used to check the workflow before actual production takes place, but it does save an awful lot of time.

All compositing was done right here at Broadstroke using Digital Fusion, and editing was done on Final Cut Pro with its fantastic Blackmagic Decklink HD card. The entire workflow was completed at uncompressed SD, and the final frame sequence was conveniently uploaded to the client's ftp site for near immediate delivery. In fact, some minor adjustments were able to be made right up to the night before airing, something that would be pretty much impossible with the UK clearance and broadcast regulations.

The London producers (Joyrider Films), and Romanian agency (CAP), together with the client (ING), all expressed their delight with the final result.

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